The National Football League season opener is scheduled for September 8th, and it’s time for some ladies to get up to speed on why all of those jalapeno poppers and chicken wings stowed away in the freezer may have to go back to Costco. NFL owners locked players out of team facilities in March, with no progress toward resolving tensions since.
So if you haven’t been paying attention to the details on ESPN, here are 5 things you need to know about the lockout.
This Is About Money—Sort Of
This may seem like billionaires versus millionaires, and, that’s because it is. The owners are asking for a larger share of the 9 billion dollars in revenue generated every year and, of course, players want to keep it a 60-40 split. But the owners and players are also butting heads over pensions for retired players, the rookie wage scale and the length of the season.
Your Favorite Players Are Pissed
When talks between the players’ union and the owners fell apart, some of the NFL’s most talented players slapped the owners with an anti-trust lawsuit. Quarterbacks like the Colt’s Peyton Manning, the Saint’s Drew Brees, and the Patriot’s Tom Brady are suing the owners. These are not just any Tom, Dick or Harry. These are super bowl champions, and they’re pissed.
The Coaches Are On the Players’ Side
The NFL Coaches Association supports the players, and has done so publicly. The lockout is stopping the coaches from doing their job. There are no off-season workout programs, and no mini-camps to prepare players for full-on training camp in August.
The Owners Hate You
According to Sports Illustrated writer Jim Trotter, all teams except the New York Giants are requiring full or partial payments from season ticket holders for games that may or may not happen this year. How is that even fair?
Your Favorite Players Are Keeping Busy
Technically, players are out of a job, but they aren’t banned from getting a new one—for now. Redskin’s quarterback Donovan McNabb is passing the time as a sports broadcaster, Patriot’s punter Zoltan Mesko is working as an investment banker, and Bronco’s safety David Burton is substitute teaching in his hometown of Miamisburg, Ohio. Consummate showman and Bengal’s wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has already tried his hand at bull riding, professional soccer, and hosting ‘WWE Monday Night Raw’.
Here’s hoping that the players and owners will resolve their differences by September. If not, there’s always bass fishing on ESPN 2.